Movies and other media (music, books etc) have been a positive influence to the progress of global society


Date: Friday, April 8th 2016

Participants (from 17 countries):

USA: Rick | Argentina: Johny | Pakistan: Ayisha, Usman | Switzerland: George | Iran: Behnam, Mahsa | France: Djamila | Tunisia: Marwa | Vietnam: Amina | Philippines: Jesson | Egypt: Mahmoud | Algeria: Soso | Sudan: Seif | Bangladesh: Mohiuddin, Azamu | Azerbaijan: Salima | Indonesia: Tibi | Spain: Sergio | Turkey: Eysan

Host: Rick

Co-Host: Johny


Panel PRO (Team A): Johny, Ayisha, George, Jesson, Salima, Mahmoud, Mohiuddin, Seif

Panel CON (Team B): Marwa, Haitham, Soso, Amina, Amin, Usman

Audience (Team C): Djamila, Behnam, Sergio, Mahsa, Pearl, Azamu, Tibi, Eysan, Mohamed Ibrahim,

Team A summary:

  • Thanks to books and the media, we came to know about other people’s culture, religion, traditions, laws, procedures, etc.
  • It is inspiring to know about other people’s life.
  • Information about other people and countries: new medical procedures have helped people around the world.
  • Knowledge is power: it’s easier for us if we knew how to prepare ourselves in terms of knowing what other people like or dislike.
  • We can understand other people and culture if we learn about them though either books, movies or other media.
  • Books, movies and music are the colors of this life: it’s difficult to imagine our lives without these things, our lives may be colorless. (Meaning that they complement our daily life experiences).
  • Music has been a powerful tool to convey feelings and experiences to the world.
  • The type of movies and books are important: there have been books and movies which had a big influence in people’s lives.
  • Documentaries help people especially students to know more about things they study, such as medicine.
  • Music stimulates the brain and gives extra energy to people.
  • If we want to know anything from any country, culture or place in the world, books and the media are the medium.
  • No one is born knowing everything: To know how to deal with our society, we must gain knowledge from somewhere.
  • The book principal: In the past, the way to convey new knowledge and theories was through books. If Newton hadn’t had written his theories, the world wouldn’t have progressed in the way it did.
  • Science fiction: inspiration very often comes through books, movies and motion pictures.
  • Space travel was a direct consequence of the inspiration that people got from these stories.
  • Moon landing and travel to Mars: Now, thanks to the knowledge and the technology gotten from books, theories and the history itself, we can make travel to other planets and stars possible.
  • Medicine: The advances in medicine have been brought mostly through new books and videos where people explain about the new research and knowledge from around the world.
  • In the past, the only way people had for knowing about what was going on in the world was through Newspapers.
  • Information in general: how do people know about the world? Is there any other better way than books, magazines, movies, documentaries and radio?
  • Entertainment before TV and the ancient Rome with its “games”: In the ancient Rome, people used to find entertainment in what they called “The games”. Which was a match between gladiators and oftentimes, prisoners were thrown to animals as punishment for their crime. When books came along, people found entertainment in the stories and fantasies delivered by books. It also helped the society become much more civilized.
  • Information travel faster than people: It’s much more easier and cheaper to transport millions of books around the world than going there and give speeches or lectures personally.
  • Theater vs movies and Job opportunities: When the movie industry took off, new job and opportunities were created for actors, actresses, camera-men, sound producers, musicians, producers, directors, etc. Whereas in the theater media, there are limited job opportunities.
  • In addition to job opportunities, movies and radio stories have been enjoyed by people from around the world without having to go and see the play. We can show and convey a much richer story through a movie film than through a theater play.

Team B summary:       

  • Capitalism: we are being taught to consume things which we really don’t need.
  • Junk food: people are encouraged to consume unhealthy food.
  • Our teenagers repeat what they see on the movies, using guns and other dangerous items.
  • The media has 3 main functions: 1. it provides entertainment; 2. Education. 3. News.
  • The repercussions of the media outweigh the advantages: the main stream media can influence the public’s opinion in a negative way. It brain-washes people negatively towards a certain religion or culture.
  • The negative influences of the media are vast. It affects the physical, emotions, psychological aspect, and even the spirituality of many people. One negative influence can trigger another negative effect and this can cause a chain reaction leading to destruction of relationships in the society.
  • The internet make youngsters addicted to games, adult sites or social media tools.
  • In the culture aspect, we are degrading. Music is not the same as before. Before we had classical music, today we have noisy music. The lyrics have decreased its quality as well.
  • Young people often imitate their role models blindly. What are being highlighted in the entertainment industry are the wrongdoings of these celebrities, whom the young people idolize. Moreover, because they are heroes in the youth’s minds, they are still celebrated despite the bad behavior they have been showing to the public.
  • This highlighting of the media is a negative effect on the society. They satiate the people’s hunger for trivial information and rumors. They create buzz by hyping the issues with flowery words and provoking descriptions. Controversies are created left and right to get the attention of people.
  • Instead of reading books, studying, playing outdoors with other children, and engaging in social activities, they end up being cooped up in their rooms watching television. Furthermore, because of technological advancements and the availability of gadgets to young people, these children end up spending a significant amount of time in front of their computers and handheld video games.
  • TV is not the same as books: the TV has more influence on people than books. In some countries in the past when tobacco companies had crisis, they used TV and movie industries to make actors smoke in scenes so that children and other people can imitate these actors and buy their products.
  • Advertising about junk food: The constant bombarding of junk food advertising has encouraged people to consume unhealthy food which caused problems of obesity, diabetes and other food-related problems.
  • Sexual content in movies and TV shows: For conservative countries, some adult movies have found their ways to young people which has caused troubles at home and in their society.
  • Models and their body shape: TV projects an ideal body-shape image which people try to follow and in this way, TV says and shows what a proper body should look like.
  • Idols, actors and actresses make people change the way they think, messing up with their personalities and identities.
  • Stereotypes: the media plays an important role in making it worse.
  • In the past, people didn’t know much about wars and guns but nowadays it is all about war and guns in the media.
  • We cannot say that our global society is being developed progressively by the media while it is one of reasons of obesity, violent actions and overreacted behaviors in real life.
  • The media indirectly influences individuals, audience thoughts, and attitudes if we cannot manage and control the media actions.

Audience summary:

  • As for the classical music, that was the only thing people had for listening. It’s not fair to criticize music because tastes are tastes.
  • What we see in the media, is not always true. We cannot judge the media by saying it’s all bad when there are things that people misinform intentionally and it is people’s fault, not the media itself.
  • What we see in the news are more things that are bad than good things.
  • In order to judge the results, we need to look back and see where we were in the past and where we are now. The result is that there was progress, despite the bad things.
  • If we take it in moderation, like everything else, it doesn’t have to be all negative.


  • Sergio voted for team B.
  • Mahsa voted for team B.
  • Pearl voted for team B.
  • Behnam voted for team A.
  • Eysan voted for team B.

Team B won this debate. Thanks everyone for participating. Below are the links to listen to this discussion.

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